Contributed Content – Stephen Wade Auto Center is always working to build stronger children, families and communities. They’ve been giving back to Southern Utah for nearly 30 years and don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
2022 was a banner year for the Southern Utah business center in terms of charitable giving. Stephen Wade Auto Center has lent its support to numerous local events and organizations involved youth sports, arts, recreation, health care and education, as well as non-profit partnerships that help with poverty, hunger and homelessness.
“This community keeps us in business, and we want to give back,” said director of public relations Jamie Bahlmann. “It’s a partnership.”
Philanthropy has always been a cornerstone of Stephen Wade’s business operations, and Stephen Wade Auto Center iHe is known for his long history of charitable giving in Southern Utah. Bahlmann said this is especially true when it comes to initiatives and organizations that benefit the community’s youth.
During the holiday season, Stephen Wade Auto Center invited customers to join them in the “Spirit of Giving” to support four organizations that make a difference in the lives of homeless and at-risk students: Switchpoint, Youth Futures, the Washington County School District Foundation. and the Washington County Juvenile Justice Center. The Southern Utah mall has pledged to donate a portion of every vehicle purchase throughout the month of December, and checks will be delivered to participating nonprofits in the coming weeks.
Stephen Wade Auto Center also collected essential items for children and families in need through its fifth annual Wish Trees fundraiser. The donated products were distributed in time for Christmas to these four organizations, all of which rely on community support to keep their shelves stocked. sleeping bags, jackets, gloves, socks, snacks, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and more.
The Southern Utah auto dealership supports teachers and students by funding classroom grants through the Washington County School District Foundation. Each year, teachers throughout the school district are encouraged to apply for money for special projects and learning opportunities outside of their regular budget. Each grant enriches the lives of dozens of young people, Bahlmann said.
Stephen Wade Auto Center also sponsors the school district’s annual fundraising golf tournament, the Fore the Kids Classic, as well as the Dixie Power Kite Festival. A Southern Utah tradition since 2000, the festival is a family-friendly event that promotes literacy and a lifelong love of learning by offering kids fun rewards in exchange for reading books .
“We support our residents at every stage of their lives,” Bahlmann said. “We are particularly passionate about supporting the people who will be our future.”
Stephen Wade Auto Center, with community partners Goldenwest Credit Union and Canyon Media have again presented checks to various Washington County high schools following the 2022 Kick4Cash and Shoot4Cash promotions. More than $56,000 has been donated through Kick4Cash over the past seven years, with $30,000 and counting by Shoot4Cash.
Kick4Cash and Shoot4Cash have been designed to award money to clubs, teams and organizations that would otherwise not have the opportunity to earn sponsorships. The event allows three students, each representing a specific organization, to kick a field goal or sink a half-court shot for up to $500 in cash during the halftime show at a football game or local basketball.
Last year also saw a complete renovation of the Stephen Wade Auto Center exhibit at the St. George’s Children’s Museum. Bahlmann said the goal was to modernize the exhibit to reflect a more realistic dealership garage while adding interactive mechanical elements such as tires, mufflers and a diagnostic unit. Kids can even wear a new technician shirt so they feel like a real mechanic as they open and play.
St George’s Children’s Museum receives over 100,000 visitors a year and focuses on providing vibrant and engaging activities that invite children and families to explore, imagine and create. Stephen Wade Auto Center has sponsored an exhibit since the museum opened in 2014.
Stephen Wade Auto Center is a longtime sponsor of community events including the St. George Arts Festival, the Dixie Roundup Rodeo, the Washington County Fair and the Washington City Cotton Days. In addition, the Wade family helped raise the funds needed to bring a Gold Star Family Memorial Monument to St. George. A tribute to fallen veterans and their loved ones, the monument was installed and dedicated in Town Square Park last May.
We all need to work together to make St. George a great place to live. With the help of the community, Stephen Wade Auto Center will continue to support local schools, sports, events and non-profit organizations throughout 2023 and beyond.
“We couldn’t do this without our customers and community partners,” Bahlmann said. “We all continue to invest in Southern Utah.”
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Written by ALEXA MORGAN for News San Giorgio.
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